There are a few cakes as decadent as German chocolate cake, and the same goes for its frosting. How many other cake recipes can you think of that have their own special frosting to accompany them? Not many. And for a good reason.
German chocolate cake frosting is special. Made with pecans and coconut shreds, this is the stuff of nearly every sweet tooth’s dreams. The problem with it is that it can be kind of tough to make. Even the most advanced bakers have trouble with it every now and again, and it can really pose a challenge for a novice, leading fans of the dessert to pick up a can at the grocery store.
We totally understand going the easy way out on this because going the hard way is, well, hard. But don’t worry. As always, there are ways to make the storebought version better. Here’s how to make canned German chocolate cake frosting taste homemade.
How to Make Canned German Chocolate Cake Frosting Taste Homemade
Fix the Texture
One of the staples of this frosting is its texture. The texture comes from its delicate balance of ingredients, and if its texture is off, the entire frosting batch will taste amiss. It’s crucial to get the balance right, so make sure the ratio of pecans to coconut shreds is correct.
This may vary according to your liking or according to whomever else is going to eat the frosting, so make sure you have a good handle on your guests’ frosting preferences before making adjustments. But before you’re worried about the flavor of this frosting, make sure you’ve attended to its texture.
Adjust the Recipe
And that same note, you may have to adjust the recipe a little bit, which is in the vein of its flavor. Once you have adjusted the ratio of coconut flakes to pecans, focus on the flavor.
Is the German chocolate cake frosting sweet enough? Is it too sweet? Is there enough vanilla? Does it need more brown sugar? Make sure you have thoroughly answered all of those questions before serving your frosting to anybody.
Add More Coconut
You may be wondering why we’re talking about coconut again when we already talked so much about ratios, but this is a little bit different. If you’ve ever had a fresh German chocolate cake frosting, you’re familiar with the texture of the coconut pieces.
When the frosting comes from a can, the coconut has been sitting with those other ingredients for months on end, allowing it to soak up moisture and change its texture. If you like a firmer coconut shred, the canned German chocolate frosting is likely too soggy for you.
To remedy this, add a little bit of fresh coconut on your own. Though you still may have some bites of that soggy coconut, it’ll definitely improve the texture, and if anything else, it’ll at least make it look homemade. At best, you’ll be left with a batch of frosting that all of your friends and family are convinced is homemade. It’s a win-win.
Add More Pecans
The same thing goes for pecans. Those pecans may be getting a little soggy. They won’t be nearly as soggy as coconuts, but they probably don’t have that same texture that you know and love from a fresh pecan.
Adding more pecans to your canned German chocolate cake frosting also gives you a chance to elevate the flavor a bit. Instead of just adding raw pecans, try adding some toasted pecans to give the frosting some more depth of flavor.
You can also add some flavored pecans, once again changing the overall flavor profile of the frosting and making it taste homemade. It may seem like a risk, but it’ll yield high rewards.
Heat It Up
Temperature is of the essence it comes to making things taste homemade. Instead of opening the can of German chocolate frosting that you purchased and spreading it atop your dessert, put it into a saucepan and let it simmer just a bit.
Heating up your frosting will give the ingredients some time to really mix well. You don’t want to scorch it or get it boiling, but a tiny bit of heat will mimic the from-scratch process, making the frosting taste homemade. It’s a quick fix, and it’ll make a world of difference.
Serve It Over Cake
Make sure that you are serving your German chocolate cake canned frosting on a good cake. If you are buying a cake from the store, it likely already has frosting on it, so we suggest just making a box mix cake if you want to go the less involved route.
Just make sure that the box mix is quality. Serving canned frosting over a tasty cake will automatically make it taste homemade.
Serve It On Cupcakes
The same thing goes for cupcakes. If you have a delicious baked good, people will not question whether it was bought at the store or made at home; they’ll just enjoy it. Dazzle your guests with a little spin on this dessert by serving German chocolate cake frosting on cupcakes. It’s just as easy as baking a cake, and it’ll totally have that homemade flavor.
Now, to really make your German chocolate cake frosting taste homemade and not canned, frost your baked goods in layers. Although this is an advanced step, it’s achievable with some tips.
First things first, make sure you’re baking your cakes on sheets. Don’t cut a thick cake and frost in between. The crumbles will be a nightmare. Instead, bake multiple think cakes and stack them.
Because German chocolate frosting already has so much texture to it, you’re not going to be able to spread it as smoothly as you would a buttercream frosting. Instead, just spoon it onto the cake and have thick layers with rough edges. Your only goal is to have a sticky layer of frosting for your next layer of cake to stick to.
Use the imperfections to your advantage. Most homemade frosting jobs aren’t beautiful, so don’t focus on making it look professional. Just give it your best effort, and since it looks homemade, it’ll probably taste homemade, too.
Does German chocolate cake need to be refrigerated?
Yes, German chocolate cake should indeed be refrigerated as the frosting contains perishable ingredients such as butter, sugar, evaporated milk, and egg yolks.
For optimal freshness and safety, it is recommended to store German chocolate cake in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a maximum of 5 days.
Can you freeze German chocolate cake?
Yes, you can freeze German chocolate cake for up to three months. To ensure the cake remains in its best form, it is essential to wrap it tightly in either plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Once you are ready to eat it, simply take it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving. The texture of the cake may experience a slight alteration after freezing but rest assured. Its taste will remain irresistible.
How did German chocolate cake get its name?
Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake is not actually from Germany. The cake is named after Samuel German, who created a type of baking dark chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. The company named the chocolate “German’s Sweet Chocolate” in honor of Samuel German. In 1957, a recipe for “German’s Chocolate Cake” appeared in a Dallas newspaper, using sweet chocolate as a key ingredient. The recipe became extremely popular and was eventually shortened to just “German chocolate cake.”